It had to happen. After many years of greeting morning commuters and acting as the spirit of Bermuda, Johnny Barnes is to retire, and the search is on for his replacement. Yet, after numerous advertisements in the Royal Bazookas, no Bermudian has expressed an interest, and recruiters are having to look to overseas talent to fill the role.
While Barnes has voluntarily stationed himself at the roundabout every day, the tourism department has recognized that expecting anyone to do something for nothing these days is unrealistic, so it has created a small salary for the post. However, it seems that the prospect of standing outside daily, even when it is raining, is not very tempting. In addition, the skill of smiling constantly at passers-by, including those who don’t say good morning, is one not readily available on the island.
"In this day and age, old-fashioned skills such as smiling at everyone are hard to find in Bermuda. We no longer train our youngsters in this dying art, choosing instead to educate them in more relevant subjects such as extorting money renting substandard properties," confirmed spokesperson Pink Be-aches. "We will have to conduct a search for suitably qualified guest-workers. Ms Be-aches denied that Barnes must be smoking some good shit to smile that much, saying that you can’t get seriously good weed in Bermuda and have to rely on overpriced, poor quality product.
An educashun spokesperson defended their methods, pointing out that children in the public educashun system learn to multi-task. "Many graduate able to chew gum, conduct personal phone calls and ignore rude customers all at once. Smiling is not a necessary skill in the service industry."
The search is being conducted in countries such as Thailand, Canada, South Africa and Guatemala for someone able to smile in all weathers. The UK has been ruled out as a recruiting ground, since people there don’t seem to smile very much.
In related news, the tourism commission in New York has come under fire from consumers alleging false advertising. Complainants Marjorie-Jo Williamsburg and husband Mortimer say that commercials and brochures using the image of Johnny Barnes portray a destination filled with friendly smiling locals. "The only person who smiled at us was the customs inspector tearing apart our personal belongings in a search for undeclared toiletries. And that was only a scary smile when he put the rubber gloves on," said Mrs Williamsburg.